*****Is going there and back to see how far it is.*****

Hi I am Jo…wife, lover, best friend and soulmate to Keith. Lover of all things to do with nature and the canals. I am passionate about the Waterways and its history.

I hope you will join me in my rambles and do please comment – I love to hear from and meet new people in blogland!

Life on the cut through my eyes.

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*****Stay safe and warm out there..*****

Saturday, 30 October 2010

Coal Sales and Chit Chat.

Hi Friends.

Saturday has been a lovely day. After a chilly old start, the sun came out which warmed the air a little.
After doing the usual morning stuff, which I will not bore you with again, I had a couple of bags of coal to deliver to a regular customer. So there was I man handling the trolley out of the hold, whilst Keith grabbed hold of it for me, the trolley that is. We then unloaded the two bags of coal and I wheeled them up the towpath, over the swing bridge and up the arm at the bottom of the Inclined Plane. With this job there tends to be a certain amount of walking, lifting and getting dirty all the things I love thankfully. I am sure I should have been born a boy ha ha ha.
Delivery made, I got back to the boat to find Keith underneath the galley sink, huffing and puffing. Having added a temporary "U" bend to the galley sink last year, Keith tried to replace it with a better alternative. It didn't work, so we will have to think about it again. Like all good ideas they very often come to nothing, when it comes to us doing a job.
Why is it some jobs take ten times longer than they are supposed too?
With the pipework put back the way it had been in the first place, I made us some lunch which included me toasting some of the Bara Brith I had made and very nice it was too with some butter on it.
After lunch I got a phone call from a new customer who was wanting to come and collect some coal by car, which happens quite a lot on our run. They arrived and parked up in the Foxton Locks car park and the coal was wheeled to them on the sack barrow. We got chatting about how people react to a woman delivering their coal and it reminded me of a gentleman we met 3 years ago whilst cruising.
We were on a sanitary point filling up with water and emptying rubbish etc, when this gentleman shouted across the cut "Could I have some coal please".
I replied "Of course Sir, as soon as we are finished here, we will pull over on to the towpath and unload some coal for you".
"ok" he shouted back.
So after we were done on the sanitary point we moved across the cut to the towpath and I went and enquired as to what the gentleman would like. He asked for two bags of Taybrite, which I unloaded. Just as I had loaded a bag of coal on my shoulder and begun walking up the towpath to his boat, he shouted "You can't do that".
I looked at him in astonishment and ask " What is wrong".
His reply was "You cannot do that, your a woman".
My reply could have been argumentative, but I just said "well sir this is what I do, I sell and deliver coal and yes I am a woman".
He really did not know what to say and so kept quiet as I put the 25kg bag of coal on the roof of his boat. I guess because he was a more mature gentleman, he saw it unfit for a woman to be lifting bags of coal, but it is what I do and as I come from a farming background I do know what I am doing. It is not about how strong someone is, it is all about technic and I have learnt that over the years I can carry heavy weights, if I do it correctly.
Another instance came about when we were on our other boat. We went to the Preston Brook National Festival back in 2005. Keith wanted to buy an anchor, rope and chain and luckily for us there was a stall selling just what we wanted. We were looking at a 25kg anchor, when the stall holder said.
"You will not lift that anchor my dear. Many a woman has tried today and failed"
I turned to Keith, smiled and picked up the anchor and put it on my shoulder. The stall holder looked at me in amazement and said "Bugger me, if I had not seen that with my own eyes, I would never have believed it". Like I told him it is not about strength, you just have to know the best way to do it. We did buy the anchor, rope and chain and it now sits in the front locker for when we do rivers.
Today has been a day of coal sales and chit chat. The chit chat has been with people we know and people we have just met, but it is always enjoyable. The canal is a small world and that was proven earlier when we were chatting with Malcolm and Barbara off of NB Pilgrim, it soon became apparent that we were friends with the same people and yet this was the first time we had actually met. it does make you realise though that you have to be careful what you say, just in case you upset someone ha ha ha.
I am now off to do our dinner, which is casserole and dumplings. Have a good evening, I am going to be watching the X-Factor and hoping that this weekend Wagner will be voted off.

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